> Lemon and Strawberries: October 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Polish sour cucumber soup (Zupa ogórkowa)

This is one of my favourite Polish soups and I missed it greatly for a very long time. Don't get me wrong, I love Greek cuisine with all my heart - it's amazing, but - sometimes, just sometimes I get these cravings for something I grew up with.
And this time I really wanted sour cucumber soup (zupa ogórkowa)! I mean it - I was ready to make preservs myself, just to have the necessary ingredient - sour cucumbers (ogórki kiszone). But there was a problem - I couldn't find small cucumbers suitable for making this type of pickles. Not to mention branches of dill (top parts, with seeds). I was getting really desperated, but then I thought I will ask around and maybe someone knows "something". As it turned out - there is a Polish shop here in Thessaloniki! Yay! So one day I went there hoping to find my precious sour cucumbers and imagine what a wonderful moment it was when I saw them on a shelf! My precious!

So here's the recipe for a delicious, Polish sour cucumber soup - perfect for cold days - it will warm you up and fill your belly with goodness!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Polish steamed dumplings (Pampuchy) with pork stew and beetroot salad

Sometimes I really miss some Polish dishes and today was one of these days. Pampuchy are a type of yeast based dumplings, that are very popular in Poland. Depending on a region one can find them served as savory or sweet dish. I remember eating them in two versions - sweet with sauce made from fruits and cream and with stew, as in my recipe.
Also it's the first time in my life I made pampuchy from a scratch! When I lived in Poland we used to buy them precooked to save time. I must say - homemade are much better! They're really soft and fluffy and will go well with almost any type of sauce or even just with some fried onions on top. I also heard of them being stuffed with meat, groats or fruits, but never had them in such version.

Polish classic beetroot salad

In Poland we love beetroots! We prepare them in many different ways: marinated, as salads, warm side dishes, as a spread mixed with horseradish and of course - made into soups, like botwinka and worldwide known borstch! This simple salad is one of my favorites - doesn't take long to make, it's slightly sweet and sour and goes well with any meat dishes you can think of - cutlets, stews, meatballs etc. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Game of Thrones inspired sugar cookies

No matter if you're throwing a themed party or planning a nice movie night with your significant other, it's good to surprise your guests or beloved ones with some delicious snacks! I'm a big fan of "Game of Thrones" series and books, so I've decided to make some special GoT themed cookies to munch while I'm re-reading it and waiting for the new season of series. Plus, I came across Food 'n Film blogging challenge on Cooking for Kishore blog, so the idea appeared just in time! They are also perfect for movie-themed Halloween party or birthday.
These sugar cookies are delicious, crunchy and really great, but addition of dark and white chocolate makes them even better!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Two years in Greece - let's celebrate! Lemon cupcakes with light buttercream.

They say that "happy people don't count the time" and it must be true, since my second year in Greece passed so fast I didn't even notice until I've looked at the date in calendar.
Looking back I see how living in this beautiful country has influenced me. Coming from a big city in Poland, in the beginning I had problems adjusting to "slower" life - here nobody rushes in the streets, there is time for everything, no need to run.
People in Greece know how to enjoy little pleasures like coffee with friends despite hard times their country is facing now with crisis. I've learned to appreciate it, it's really a gift to be able to smile no matter what and to never give up. Greeks are also the most friendly people I ever met - they always greet you, chat with you and help you when you need it - as a foreigner I didn't expect it!
With this recipe I invite you to celebrate my 2nd anniversary in Greece with me! Delicious and light lemon cupcakes with swiss meringue buttercream will make you look at the bright side of life, just like Greece made me!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Loukoumades - Greek honey & cinnamon puffs

It looks like that's it - Summer is over, at least around my area. It's raining almost all the time, it's gloomy and slowly we're moving into real autumn. This time of a year usually makes me feel a little bit blue... But there is something that cheers me up! Loukoumades! These little puffs are a perfect comfort food for first days of autumn. Soaked in sweet honey & cinnamon syrup, they're small golden bites of joy that will make you smile, no matter what. Get a couple of loukoumades, a cup of tea, blanket, plus a good book and you're going to win over that moody weather in no time!